She knew she could get through the day as long as no one talked to her. But as soon as she arrived at the office, she knew that would not be possible. She had not left the house early enough to arrive first, so, she did the next best thing and braced herself for the obligatory Monday niceties.

“How was your weekend?”

Weekends were the hardest days of the week and this one was no exception. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to spend time with the kids; getting home from work to spend the evening with them was the highlight of the day. The difference between a weekday and the weekend was structure. Each weekday evening was carefully orchestrated to get dinner on the table, eat, play, bathe the kids, and put them to bed all within the span of three hours. Weekdays lacked that structure. She had never considered herself as a creature of habit, but there is certainly a comfort in routine. Can someone be comforted by and hate something simultaneously? In the freedom of the weekend was that opportunity to disagree. There had been another fight over some unimportant issue which took its usual course. She got angry; he withdrew. It was a textbook case of a dysfunctional communication pattern which left her feeling exhausted and stuck. Of course things would return to normal in a few days, as it always does. In the almost 10 years that they have known each other, the things they argued about were astonishingly few, although the intensity of their arguments had increased over the years. She was infuriated with herself that she took so long to recover from these spats. It made her stomach churn. The bitter aftertaste of the yet unresolved argument was raw like an open wound, leaving her wondering if she had made the mistake of marrying someone who didn’t love her.

“It was good.”